Be drink aware


Students from Co. Cork are being encouraged to participate in DARE2BDRINKAWARE.ie, a film and multimedia competition that aims to promote responsible attitudes towards alcohol.

Now in its fourth year, DARE2BDRINKAWARE.ie is a film and multimedia competition open to third-level students throughout Ireland, including students from University College Cork, Cork Institute of Technology, St. John’s College and Cork College of Commerce. The competition is sponsored by drinkaware.ie and organised by the Digital Hub Development Agency (DHDA).

Speaking at the launch of the 2010 / 2011 DARE2BDRINKAWARE.ie competition, Fionnuala Sheehan, Chief Executive of drinkaware.ie, said this year a new multimedia category has been introduced to the competition to reflect the increasing impact the use of social media outlets are having on young people’s attitudes to drinking.

“We decided to introduce the multimedia category this year because, in recent years, we have noticed how the use of social media outlets are impacting on young people’s attitudes to drinking” she said. “The growing popularity of social networking, video sharing and publishing photos online means young people consider it normal to document their nights out and use social media to let their friends know what they’re up to.

“We are concerned that the popularity of social networking sites has led to a normalisation of drunken behaviour among young people. Some students find it amusing to post videos or photographs online of their own or others’ binge drinking, for example. Others use social media outlets to brag about the amounts they are drinking on nights out. There is almost a sense of competition around who can have the most shocking stories or photographs, or the most amusing videos.

“By introducing this new multimedia category to the competition we hope to encourage students in Cork – and throughout Ireland – to use multimedia tools, including mobile phone apps, interactive CD-Roms, and gaming projects, to promote responsible attitudes towards alcohol,” continued Ms. Sheehan. “Rather than glorifying drunkenness through mobile media tools and social networking sites, for example, we want to encourage participating students to be creative and innovative and look at how such sites and tools could be used to show young people it is possible to enjoy alcohol in a more responsible manner.”

A prize fund of €5,000 is up for grabs by the students that enter the DARE2BDRINKAWARE.ie competition. The competition calls on young people interested in social issues to produce innovative short films and multimedia projects – such as websites, interactive CD-Roms, gaming projects or mobile phone apps – challenging the relationship between Irish culture and drinking. Entries must be made specifically for DARE2BDRINKAWARE.ie, and must be produced entirely by third-level students aged over 18. Winning entries will be chosen for their creativity; artistic and technical quality; and for the insight they offer into students’ attitudes to drink.

John Hurley, Director of Learning at The Digital Hub, said one of the big benefits for Cork students who enter the competition is the opportunity to meet some of Ireland’s top film and multimedia industry insiders and make contacts that may prove valuable to them in their future careers.

“DARE2BDRINKAWARE.ie has been in existence for four years now and, every year, the competition has grown and attracted more and better quality entries. We have established a high-profile panel of judges and the awards ceremony each year includes a keynote address by an industry leader, so the competition serves a useful networking purpose for young people soon to be starting out in their careers.”

Ken Wardrop, director of the award-winning feature film ‘His and Hers’, was on hand to officially launch the 2010 / 2011 competition, and the judging panel this year includes: John Kelly, RTÉ and Lyric FM Presenter; Alicia McGivern, Head of Education at the Irish Film Institute; and Ross Whitaker, Commissioning Editor of Film Ireland.

Cork students now have three weeks to come up with film and multimedia ideas for DARE2BDRINKAWARE.ie: the deadline for receipt of proposals is Thursday, 11th November 2010. Teams that have submitted successful proposals will then have until 18th March 2011 to produce and submit their short films or multimedia projects.

DARE2BDRINKAWARE.ie will culminate in a screening and awards ceremony in April 2011. Further information and full guidelines for the competition are available at www.DARE2BDRINKAWARE.ie.

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